say your piece
OCTOBER 16, 2003
Bye, Bye Bernie (MATCH-IN)
RED Bids a Fond Adieu to the U's Best President Since the Last One
By Craig Froehlich

t felt like getting hit upside the head with a dead puppy.

We finally finished passing around RED’s ceremonial “bad news whiskey bottle.” Some let the news sink in. Some wrote crappy poetry.

U president Bernie Machen broke the news and with it, our hearts.

He accepted a job at the University of Florida.

“What’s a Florida?” someone reeling from shock cried.

RED editor and spry octogenarian Jeremy Mathews read from a prepared statement: “Yet again I’m left feeling like a rejected woman. That’s what the University of Utah represents to Bernie. We were presentable enough in public and even looked pretty in the proper lighting.

With the grace of a Greek statue, the wit of Oscar Wilde and the eloquence of Richard Nixon, Bernie Machen incinerates his newly dumped campus.

“We put out. We were easier than Tic Tac Toe,” Mathews continued, “and wrote cute little notes on his lunch bags. Sooner or later some hot little sun-baked floozy was bound to come along. All of your friends gave you a high five and demanded that you boink the hotter chick.

“And boink you did.”

“I don’t like the dead puppy line,” Assistant Editor Jamie Gadette added.

Five or eight or seven years ago (to hell with research), Machen ambled into town. His eyeglass lenses darkened when exposed to the sun.

We swooned. He scared us. But yet, we seemed strangely titillated.

Machen looked like a mob boss trying to go legit and quickly earned a reputation as an angry drunk.

“Don’t ever mispronounce his name,” an anonymous paraplegic said, “and never make fun of his Tony Montana impression.”

This bare-footed boy from the Catskills brought with him a bold new management technique that he picked up at a weekend seminar.

“He demonstrated the golden orb of effective management and the pyramid of customer satisfaction. We became so proactive,” a former administrator remembered. “Then he recommended that all of the male staff volunteer for castration.”

Everyone knows about Machen's trips to work on his Harley. Less well-known is the fact that he often worked on the bike inside his presidential office.

“Every spring his office would be cluttered with engine parts and greasy rags," a former assistant said, "Sure enough, Bernie was there in his favorite ‘If you can read this… my bitch fell off’ T-shirt, blasting Foghat and nursing a beer from an obligatory six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

“Those were definitely phone conference days,” she added.

The most notable of Machen’s achievements could arguably be the head-to-head showdown with Utah’s attorney general over allowing concealed weapons on campus. Few will soon forget his hunger strike, his all-nude teach-ins and the cute way he puckers his lips when he doesn’t get his way.

No one knows the real reason behind Machen’s crusade against guns on campus. A common tale describes Machen as a former gunfighter who saw the ill of his ways and started his life anew.

“He was a young blood full of piss and vinegar and always had a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas,” former side-kick Slappy Pete said. “Once he shot a man just for snoring.”

Slappy credited Machen's miraculous turn around to a spunky orphan with hydrocephalus who taught Machen how to love again and—much later—to yodel. “His head was huge,” Slappy reminisced.

We will never forget Machen’s unwavering dedication during our city’s Olympics.

He let the Swedish figure skaters crash at his place and always knew who had the best cocaine.

And most of all, we’ll remember the tattoos.

  Exoskeleton Trophies: Paul Stout's Art of Human Fascination  
  A Showcase of Talent  
  Windy City Blows Through Kingsbury  
  Oil Paint Smells Better in a Squash Court  
  Shaham Isn't a Sham  
  Run Away! Run Away!  
  RED herring!  



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